'Shooting an Elephant' is Orwell's searing and painfully honest account of his experience as a police officer in imperial Burma; killing an escaped elephant in front of a crowd 'solely to avoid looking a fool'. The other masterly essays in this collection include classics such as 'My Country Right or Left', 'How the Poor Die' and 'Such, Such were the Joys', his memoir of the horrors of public school, as well as discussions of Shakespeare, sleeping rough, boys' weeklies and a spirited defence of English cooking. Opinionated, uncompromising, provocative and hugely entertaining, all show Orwell's unique ability to get to the heart of any subject.
A collection of witty and incisive non-fiction, George Orwell's Shooting an Elephant includes an introduction by Jeremy Paxman in Penguin Modern Classics.
Eric Arthur Blair (1903-1950), better known by his pen-name, George Orwell, was born in India, where his father worked for the Civil Service. An author and journalist, Orwell was one of the most prominent and influential figures in twentieth-century literature. His unique political allegory Animal Farm was published in 1945, and it was this novel, together with the dystopia of Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), which brought him world-wide fame. His novels and non-fiction include Burmese Days, Down and Out in Paris and London, The Road to Wigan Pier and Homage to Catalonia. Jeremy Paxman was born in Yorkshire and educated at Cambridge. He is an award-winning journalist who spent ten years reporting from overseas, notably for Panorama. He is the author of five books including The English. He is the presenter of Newsnight and University Challenge and has presented BBC documentaries on various subjects including Victorian art and Wilfred Owen.
Why I write; the spike; a hanging; shooting an elephant; bookshop memories; Charles Dickens; boy's weeklies; my country right or left; looking back on the Spanish War; n defense of English cooking; good bad books; the sporting spirit; nonsense poetry; the prevention of literature; books versus cigarettes; decline of the English murder; some thoughts on the common toad; confessions of a book reviewer; politics versus literature - an examination of "Gulliver's Travels"; how the poor die; such, such were the joys; reflections on Gandhi.